Saturday, October 22, 2011

Crashing on the floor of Moheeb's apartment taught me a valuable lesson: I don't want to live in Ramallah.

I heard music playing and people talking on the street below until 2 in the morning, and thought, I would wither away here. And I've always considered myself a city girl. Before I came to Al Aqaba, I was surprised by my willingness to live in a village. I would joke, "as long as there's internet..."

It's something I feel when I'm in Al Aqaba, or Bil'in, or even Kobar for two hours. There's soul in the villages. There's no soul in Ramallah.

When I was growing up overseas, I always fantasized about living in a small American town. Like Stoneybrook, Connecticut, the mythical home of the Babysitters Club. Everyone knew everyone and you never had to say goodbye to your friends. People stayed. There was permanence.

But how would I find permanence in Palestine? The truth is, I love moving around and hotels and airports and navigating cities and being cosmopolitan. But now I think about working and studying and living in Jerusalem or Ramallah and it makes me uneasy. Getting comfortable with the cafes and bars and the urbanites and foreigners makes me uncomfortable. And I think it's more than just the fear of losing inspiration or becoming cliche. I'm just a little enamored with the villages.